Reforming Policing Policy

Herb Dempsey

A number of years ago I spent a number of years watching as rookie teachers and rookie police officers tried to figure out what people believed. For the most part, we can classify that as their attempt to determine the implicit or explicit bias of subjects with whom they had to deal as part of employment. Some of those explorations went smoothly and some were very, very rocky.

I had many years as a department head in one of the larger school districts in Washington State and a few years as a Field Training Officer in several different jurisdictions in uniformed law enforcement.

In the classroom there are 30 witnesses to the conversation and we always hope the results are not immediately catastrophic. Alongside the road there usually are fewer witnesses but the results can go to “catastrophic” very quickly.

Looking back on those years I can honestly wish I had read this article as a framework within which to evaluate where I was as I watched their search for truth. It's helpful to have someone looking over your shoulder as you try to figure out how you arrive at the framework.